NJ Local catches monster 21lb Tog

Joe Zagorski of Manasquan Park, NJ has put a lot of time and hard work into targeting blackfish this season and I would say it has paid off with interest. While fishing this spring April 27th with Captain Jerry Postorino on the “Fish Monger II” out of Point Pleasant, NJ Joe caught what most fisherman would consider the fish of a lifetime heaving a 21lb Tautog over the rail. IMG_2991.JPGThat isn’t even the half of it, Zagorsky has been on fire this year with an incredible 12 fish in the double digits under his belt. Check out these numbers 4@10lbs, 4@11lbs, 3@12lbs, 1@13.75lbs, 1@16.75, and now 1@21lbs I don’t know about all of you but to me those numbers are staggering. When I asked Joe if he could tell us a little about how it all went down this is what he had to say.

“Fished our first spot with just a little life. Captain Jerry made an adjustment still just a little life and Jerry says lines up we are moving on. Along the way he tells us “well boys if it’s gonna be picky today lets pick at the slobs.” He warns mates John and Mike along with the rest of us to check all of our knots, top shots, hooks, and drags, “we are going to where the big boys live.” Drops two anchors and quickly an 8 and 9lb fish along with a few others are landed, wind shifts again so its lines up and we make an adjustment to get back on the piece. I get 2 nice fresh clams and Captain says lines in again. Usually I let it sit for 30 seconds or so before I search the bottom I want to settle in on, well 15 seconds in it happens. Two small bounces on the rod tip and fortunately for me I had been fishing soft bait since April 1st. I knew immediately it was a classic soft bait big fish bite and I swung for the fences, fish on. The fish doubled over my rod the tip almost hit the gunwale, I kept hard pressure to keep it up off the wreck.

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Captain Jerry (Left) and Joe with the 21lb Monster

Finally I got it to stop, got two wraps on the reel and she took off left. By this time the rod tip is in the water and she is peeling off line. Got her to stop again, one more wrap on the reel then she screams to the right peeling drag again. I finally get her up and down and straighten her out, one last dig for the bottom peeling drag then she finally gave up with no fight left. Easy reel to the top where John is waiting with the net, he gets her in with one fell swoop and the fish is in the boat. The biggest tog I have ever seen in person I could not believe my eyes, I am thinking 18-19lbs but Captain Jerry and John both say over twenty. We measure and weigh her and she bounced between 21 and 21.5lbs on two separate scales 29.5″ long with a 24.5″ girth. I’m a very lucky guy….lucky to be able to fish a lot, lucky to get that bite, lucky to land it. I am also very fortunate to have had Captain Jerry teaching me how to tog fish the past two seasons. I owe it all to him, so how appropriate I catch my personal best monster tog on his boat the Fish Monger II

 

For those of you that know and for those who have not yet figured it out, being truly good at tog fishing being a “sharpie” is not as easy as you think you have to put in your time. I have seen Joe fish as well as Captain Jerry and these guys are trying different things you are not even seeing, the are whole different plane that guys like me don’t even understand. Jedi? quite possibly, but I know one thing when it comes time start fishing for Tog again I will be putting time in with Jerry and Joe on the Fish Monger II .

Joes Setup:

  • Mike Garone custom rod United Composite CE700l blank
  • Diawa Saltiga 15 JDM model 5:1 Retrieve
  • Diawa 55lb metered J Braid
  • Trik Fish 60lb mono top shot
  • Owner 4/0 octopus hook
  • Two hook slider rig tied with Seaguar Blue Label 50lb Fluoro

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